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Champagne: Ginola's Fifa campaign is a joke

The former Newcastle player’s presidential campaign has been dismissed as a stunt by one rival.

FIFA presidential candidate Jerome Champagne
FIFA presidential candidate Jerome Champagne
Image: JOHN THYS

FELLOW CANDIDATE JEROME Champagne has questioned the legitimacy of David Ginola’s campaign to become FIFA president.

Champagne – a former member of FIFA’s executive committee (ExCo) – is aiming to replace Sepp Blatter as football’s leading man this year.

The 56-year-old Frenchman is one of three candidates to have announced they will challenge Blatter at the 2015 FIFA presidential election, but he has played down the chances of Ginola and Jordan Football Association’s Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein.

Champagne was particularly scathing of Ginola, who many believe is simply part of a publicity stunt, as he is being supported by bookmaker Paddy Power.

Ginola’s legitimacy has been called into question since he failed to name one member of the ExCo in an interview.

“If you want to really govern Fifa, you need to know the names of the ExCo, you need to know what the IFAB [International Football Association Board] is about,” Champagne said.

“You don’t run [a campaign] paid by a bookmaking company, you don’t launch yourself into crowd-funding, asking people to give money and then take a 10% cut for yourself.

“It’s not the way I’ve decided to run, but we live in a democracy and in the world of today we can see a lot of stunts like that, PR operations and unfortunately it doesn’t give this electoral process a good image.

“But we live in democracy.”

Champagne was more complementary about Al-Hussein, although he hinted that the Jordanian prince has no support.

“Prince Ali is someone of qualities. I know him well, since he assumed the presidency of the Jordanian FA in 2000,” the Frenchman said.

“As you know, we worked very closely to help the Palestinians… but… we need to know who actually supports him.”

Champagne is convinced he will earn the five nominations from amongst the world’s football associations to officially qualify as a candidate.

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